What have the Bucks done lately?
Lose. Sure the Bucks beat the Bulls on December 10 in what was a game that drew as much excitement and Knicks vs. Nets, but that is about all they have done recently. They were promptly mollywhopped by the Spurs the following night. Last night they played the Bulls again, and lost a heartbreaker (do they have those at this point?) again on a last second shot by Mike Dunleavy, 91-90.
Which team stat might determine the game?
Defensive rebounding. The Bucks are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league and their defensive rebounding is resoundingly bad. Dallas is not a great rebounding team either. However, they are in the top ten in defensive boards. They will need to grab as many of these as possible to limit the second chance opportunities of the Bucks. Defensive boards will also allow the Mavericks to get out into transition.
What do the Mavericks need to do to be successful against the Bucks?
Score efficiently. Shocker, right? Look, the Bucks are not a good defensive team and they score the fewest points per game in the NBA. Dallas needs to move the ball and create good, open looks. There won't be a need to fear the deer if the Mavs do that.
Will Brandan Wright play?
That's the big question, isn't it? All signs are very positive that Wright could see his first minutes of the season. However, he is still a game-time decision. If he does play, it will surely be a boost to bench scoring. We will all just have to wait and see, though.
*UPDATE* Wright will play tonight.